What's In a Neighborhood?

>>View map of Boston-area neighborhoods

Allston and Brighton are closely located to the law school and the Boston University campus at large. While Brighton tends to be less crowded and quieter than Allston, many students opt to settle in Allston. A diverse student population is accommodated with many specialty dining options. Get a taste of many different cultures—from South American and Brazilian cuisine at Café Belo, Spanish tapas at Tasca, or Vietnamese at Le's Vietnamese.

>>View BU Today's slideshow and article, "Getting to Know Your Neighborhood: Allston"


Back Bay and Beacon Hill make up the heart of downtown Boston. These bustling areas contain much more than typical tourist attractions and trendy shops, offering many cultural activities as well. When in the area, check out the Women Artists in Back Bay Walking Tour, the African American History Museum, or the New England Holocaust Memorial.

>>View BU Today's slideshow and article, 'Getting to Know Your Neighborhood: Beacon Hill"


Brookline encompasses a large majority of Boston including quaint areas like Coolidge Corner, which offer unique shopping and dining experiences. In Brookline you'll find the birthplace and childhood home of America's 35th president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Brookline is also home to a large Russian population, as well as a strong Jewish community. Visit one of the neighborhood's synagogues, including the historic Ohabei Shalom or tune into the Yiddish Voice, the neighborhood's Yiddish talk radio.

>>View BU Today's slideshow and article, 'Getting to Know Your Neighborhood: Coolidge Corner "


Cambridge, on the opposite side of the Charles, offers more spirit and funk than Boston. The choice location of intellectuals, artists, and activists, Cambridge is open-minded and offers both cultural and educational events. Drop in on a meeting with Cambridge Zen or Cambridge Quakers, take a stand with Cambridge Cares about AIDS, or check out Tibet Arts.

>>View BU Today's slideshow and article: "Getting to Know your Neighborhood"


Charlestown has history. One of the oldest districts in Boston, the area was home to both the onset of Paul Revere's midnight ride and 1960's Irish Mob Wars. Tour the Irish-Heritage trail, or check out some of the area's notable Mediterranean restaurants such as Copia or Olives.


Chelsea is a Boston suburb located just three miles from Logan airport. The area offers many organizations and opportunities for its Latino community. Check out the neighborhood's Centro Latino or Roca youth outreach program.


Dorchester is home to a diverse working class community. The area has no shortage of groups for its inhabitants. The gay and lesbian population may be interested in Dorchester's Monday Night Bowling League or the Dorchester Gay and Lesbian Alliance. The area's cultural opportunities span many nationalities including: the Carribbean Cultural Center, the Cape Verdean Community Unido, La Alianza Hispana, and the Vietnamese American Initiative for Development.


East Boston is known historically for its Italian population. East Boston's Orient Heights was where the area's first Italian immigrants opted to settle, and is now home to the neighborhood's famous 35-foot tall Madonna Shrine. Each year, the community's Italia Unita puts on a three-day festival to celebrate its Italian heritage.


Fenway and Kenmore Square is thriving with students from Boston University, Northeastern University, Simmons, Wheelock, and more. The area is home to the famous neon Citgo sign, and of course, Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. To see art from all around the world, check out the Museum of Fine Arts or the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum.

>>View BU Today's slideshow and article, "Getting to Know Your Neighborhood: Kenmore Square"


Jamaica Plain, both historically and culturally diverse, boasts its own brand of charm. The main shopping areas in Jamaica Plain, or JP as the locals say, offer many specialty boutiques, ice cream shops, and natural food stores. The area also contains parks such as Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park and Jamaica Pond. In addition to its outdoor attractions, JP is home to organizations such as Lesbian Movie Land, Jamaica Plain Men Group and the North American Indian Center of Boston.


Newton is a Boston suburb made up of thirteen villages including Auburndale, Chestnut Hill, Newton Centre and Newton Corner. Chestnut Hill is home to Boston College and its students. The area is host to a large Jewish community offering many cultural opportunities. Newton is also notable for the Newton History Museum that was once a stop on the Underground Railroad and Heartbreak Hill, a notoriously difficult section of the Boston Marathon.


Roslindale borders Jamaica Plain and offers a similar charming atmosphere. The area offers distinct shops and ethnically diverse eateries. In the village you'll find Chinese, Italian, Japanese, and even Creole restaurants. Neighborhood friendly, the inhabitants of Roslindale sponsor such events as summer concerts, Roslindale Parade and the Farmers Market.


Roxbury is surrounded by Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and West Roxbury. The area offers a small-town feel, yet is composed of many distinct looking buildings and neighborhoods. Roxbury is home to both a large black and artist community. Check out the community's Museum of the National Center for Afro-American Artists.


Somerville is the residential choice for many students and young couples. The area is teeming with cultural attractions from various folk and African musicians, unusual restaurants, and movie houses showing Bollywood films. The area is also the meeting spot for Boston Queer Adventurers as well as the Somerville Human Rights Commission.


South Boston has been immortalized in many popular films. The movies Good Will Hunting, Mystic River and The Verdict were all set in “Southie.” Southie is populated by a large Irish-Catholic community, but also has Polish, Lithuanian and Lebanese communities. The area borders the scenic Boston Waterfront and is now home to the Institute of Contemporary Art.


South End is culturally rich. Historically, the area was famous for its jazz clubs and artists. Today, the neighborhood is teeming with small music venues and art galleries. The South End offers many cultural attractions such as the Boston Ballet and the Boston Center for Arts. The area is also gay-friendly, having had a large gay presence since the early 1940's.

>>View BU Today's slideshow and article, "Getting to Know Your Neighborhood: The South End"


West Roxbury was made famous by early American writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau. This well-groomed area is home to many parks and picnic trails, and is also known for its civic activism.